By Judith Forman
Whole30 Certified Coach
As a Whole30 Certified Coach, I always get lots of questions about the program rules, what to expect after the 30 days, and how to move forward with reintroduction and Food Freedom.
And now I’m here to help you! Occasionally, I will use this space to answer your most pressing Whole30 questions!
Need help with something Whole30-related? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll highlight it in a future blog post!
Here are this month’s “Ask the Coach” questions:
1. I’m confused about SWYPO. I thought tortillas made with compliant ingredients are off-limits. But I’ve seen people eat jicama wraps. Can you please explain?
Great question! SWYPO (or “Sex with Your Pants On”) is the part of Whole30 that’s often the most difficult for people to understand. It’s also where I tend to see the most pushback!
The SWYPO rule was created to prevent you from using compliant ingredients (such as an egg and a banana) to make an item (pancakes) that’s off-limits during Whole30. The point of Whole30 is to completely reset – to change your habits and figure out which foods are truly worth it in your life, from physical and emotional standpoint.
If you recreate off-limit foods and make them “almost as good” – you are not truly digging deep to make changes. I wrote a lot about SWYPO on my blog – this is one of my most popular posts.
So, what’s off-limits for SWYPO? Recreated baked goods, for sure! Also, things like paleo pizza, paleo baked goods, and tortillas or chips made with compliant ingredients.
What’s not off-limits are vegetables cut into the shapes of things that are off-limits. Sweet potato toast, veggie noodles, cauliflower rice, and the jicama wraps mentioned above are NOT recreations of the original things. They are just simply non-altered vegetables cut into different shapes. You will never mistake a slice of sweet potato toast for a slice of bread, or a zucchini noodle for a pasta strand. There are no other ingredients added to recreate something.
These are substitutions or replacements — and not recreations. You are NOT fueling an unhealthy mind-body connection with these foods. You are just eating vegetables cut in cool shapes!
Note: Savory foods that are totally compliant and not officially deemed SWYPO can still be SWYPO! If you have had a long-standing relationship with fried chicken – and you are trying to change your habits – you might want to stay away from a compliant version, even though it’s technically not SWYPO. It could be your own personal SWYPO. Melissa talks more about this here.
2. Can I have canola oil? I am so confused. I thought it wasn’t compliant but I have seen people eating dips and sauces that include canola oil. Help!
This is a common question! According to the Whole30 website, it is recommended that canola oil – and all vegetable oils – are limited. But they are not outright forbidden on Whole30.
In “It Starts with Food,” there is a great discussion about vegetable oils and how they don’t meet the Good Food Standards, which is the foundation of why certain foods are eliminated on Whole30.
But, according to the Whole30 website, “if we eliminated all vegetable oils from the Whole30 program, you’d never be able to dine outside of your home. All restaurants use some form of vegetable oil in their cooking. A ban on all oils would mean you could never have a business lunch, grab a compliant burger at the airport, or enjoy a date night at your favorite bistro. And that would make the Whole30 plain old impossible for most of you.”
What’s off-limits are the oils that contain grains and legumes (which are not Whole30 compliant), such as corn oil, soybean oil, peanut oil, and rice bran oil.
It’s encouraged that you limit your use of other vegetable oils – such as canola, safflower, sunflower, grapeseed, and sesame – but does not specifically exclude them from the program. According to the Whole30 website, “that means don’t use canola as your primary cooking fat in your own kitchen; there are much healthier choices…But don’t stress about using high-oleic safflower or sunflower oil in your homemade mayo, or eating eggs fried in canola oil while out to brunch with your friends.”
The bottom line: Canola oil is fine once in a while but your cooking fats of choice on the regular should be ghee, olive/avocado oil, coconut oil, and animal fat from high-quality cuts of meat and bacon.
3. From social media, it feels like everyone is doing the #Whole30AtHome. I feel a little guilty for not doing a round during this pandemic. But I’m having trouble getting access to enough produce and meat to do a full round. Any advice?
Social media can bring us so much joy – but it can also set us up to fall into a comparison trap. I would take a step back and remove the guilt. You have to do YOU!
Have an honest conversation with yourself – Are you feeling this way because deep down you truly need a round or a reset? If you do, I would start with a reset – see if you can make Whole30 work for a few days. Use what you have on hand and focus on stocking up on veggies that last a while, like potatoes, carrots, onions, and squash. Keep your proteins easy – eggs, canned tuna or chicken, compliant hot dogs, and deli meat if you can get it. With the pandemic, Whole30 launched new resources to help you with your #Whole30AtHome.
If you truly cannot manage a round or a reset – think about eating one meal a day that’s Whole30. Maybe you can start your morning with some eggs, potatoes, homemade mayo, and a veggie from the freezer? Or grab an order from Cooked and make sure you have compliant dinners for the week. I often tell my clients to focus on one meal a day to start because it’s doable.
Plan ahead and see if you can make your food – and dollars – stretch to allow yourself the gift of a daily Whole30 meal. Chances are you it will make you feel great, and it may be just what you need to give you the push into a reset or a full round.
Now, if you truly do not need/want a round or reset, then keep living your own Food Freedom! Remember that social media is not real life. Be sure you are making mindful choices that are WORTH IT, and that you’re not eating everything in sight and calling it your “Food Freedom.” Check out these resources on the Whole30 website to help you lean into your Food Freedom.
Whatever you do, remember YOU are the only one in charge of what you eat. While we can’t control much these days, we can control how we feed ourselves. And that is powerful. Take good care of yourself and eat what you need – whatever that is –to feel your best.
Judith Forman is a Whole30 Certified Coach. For more Whole30 inspiration, connect with her on Instagram @jujuswhole30 or check out her blog at www.everydaywhole.com
By Judith Forman